1 month ago

Spilling The Tea: THE GLOSS Team on Their Favourite Cuppas

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It’s (virtual) Alzheimer’s Tea Day across Ireland and THE GLOSS team is putting on the kettle to make their favourite cuppa … 

Sarah McDonnell, editor

I am a Lyons woman myself – it was the brand I grew up with – and always drink Gold Label, one bag in a small pot, left to brew for a few minutes. I am not a specialty fan and particularly dislike fruity teas – ugh! – but always have peppermint – Numi or Pukka – in the cupboard for friends and family who prefer it to our tar-like espresso after dinner. My friend in London shared an anti-inflammation recipe which her respiratory specialist recommended as being good for sinus and hayfever, and also good for arthritis sufferers like myself – and I can attest to it really working on windpipes and creaky, sore joints. Infuse half a teaspoon of turmeric, a wedge of lemon, a teaspoon of honey and a couple of centimetres of ginger root in a cup for five minutes and then strain and sip. You can leave out the honey but it does make it more palatable. Like all these odd tastes, one becomes accustomed and now I even sort of crave it before bed …

Aisling Coffey, style editor

The question that most divides my household? The Barry’s versus Lyons tea debate. Married to a Munster man, he takes the battle seriously. I prefer Lyons tea. I know he secretly pops Barry’s tea bags into my caddy when I am not looking (he does not drink tea).

Sarah Halliwell, beauty editor

I am a dedicated tea drinker – I love the ritual, the taking time to pause, and it’s what I do the minute I wake up. My favourite is Twinings Earl Grey, which I buy in the UK and lug back as it’s so expensive here; I love the lightly fragrant element of bergamot in it, and adore bergamot-centred perfumes, too. I think my passion for tea drinking stems from school, where we would sit for hours round an industrial-scale teapot and drink gallons of the stuff. To be honest, I’ll drink any kind of tea, at any time – though it tastes best after a swim in the sea.

Jessica Weimer, art editor

I love tea, especially those that bring memories, and when I’m feeling particularly homesick or nostalgic there’s nothing better than drinking a Chimarrão. Passed down through generations from Guarani-Indians, “Chima” is a kind of mate, or herbal tea, except that different from a regular tea, Chima is a very social ritual. Always shared by a group of friends or family, a cup (called cuia) is filled with the caffeine-rich herb, hot water and straw-like sieve (bomba) and is passed from one person to the next, while people sit in a circle and have a chat, (unimaginable in current times!) – this ritual can last for hours and be shared by many people. While I can’t do that at the moment, I have a video call with my parents (in Brazil) and we share a virtual one together.

Síomha Connolly, digital editor

I’ve never been very experimental when it comes to tea. It was always Barry’s tea in my house growing up and I’ve tended to stick with that. I have a cup every morning, sometimes accompanied by rich tea biscuits, a hangover from growing up with my mam’s best friend who was Spanish – where she’s from, it’s typical to give kids Cola Cao (a chocolate drink) with rich tea biscuits for breakfast so I happily took up that habit. My best friend is one of the biggest tea drinkers I know and so many of my favourite memories with her are sitting in her house drinking endless cups of tea and chatting about anything and everything. There’s not a lot that a good cup of tea and a chat can’t solve…

Penny McCormick, deputy editor

I pass on builder’s brew preferring to drink coffee until midday, changing to herbal tea in the afternoon. I am a fan of mint infusions – a throwback to living in hot climates for over 20 years – and if I can’t make these with mint from my garden, SD Bell’s or M&S’s Pure Peppermint is my tea of choice. A proper china cup is a must-have to enhance flavour and in the office I am particularly fond of a Paul Costelloe design from Dunnes Stores and a “P” cup, a gift from my colleague Jessica. Whenever I can, I stock up on Mariage Frères Thé Sur Le Nil too – it’s an aromatic citrusy green tea – and once the travel ban is lifted I look forward to visiting its chic new emporium in Covent Garden, London.

Need to Know: Share your virtual tea party images on social media today using the hashtags #TeaInEveryHome #TeaDay2020 and also join gardener Diarmuid Gavin this evening. He is hosting an online Mad Hatters-style Alzheimer’s Tea Party in his garden which will be live streamed via Instagram to his friends, from 7pm via @diarmuidgavin. Do wear a hat and take a selfie, but most importantly remember to show solidarity with people with dementia, their carers and the 500,000 people who are impacted by dementia in Ireland; www.alzheimer.ie

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